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What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)?
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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a system that focuses on grappling, or ground fighting. The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was founded from Japanese Judo in the early 20th century when a visiting Japanese dignitary taught the art of Judo to the Gracie family in Brazil. It was from these teachings that the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu eventually emerged.Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses on the use of leverage to allow a smaller or weaker individual to prevail in a physical conflict, primarily through the use of joint locks or choke holds. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is used in both sport competition and self defense. Its effectiveness is evident as it is a primary style and/or key ingredient to many current MMA (mixed martial arts) fighters.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is most strongly differentiated from other martial arts by it’s emphasis on ground work, or grappling. Live sparring, often referred to as “rolling”, is routinely practiced in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools. Unlike many striking arts (boxing, muay thai), “rolling” allows practitioners to train at very intense levels with little fear of injury. This is ideal for business men and other professionals that wish to learn a self defense system but can not afford to go to work with a black eye or a broken nose.

Training methods in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vary from club to club but typically there is Technical Drilling (practicing a given move against a non-resisting partner), Positional Sparring (sparring from a specific position or starting area), Rolling/Sparring (free flowing movements where the direction of the match is dictated by the participants).

In addition to traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training methods it is common for schools to have an emphasis on physical conditioning. Physical conditioning helps increase flexibility, strength, endurance, body composition and overall health. By increasing the general level of physical fitness the student’s ability to grapple will also be increased.